Tuesday, September 26, 2023

AAP leader Manish Sisodia withdraws interim bail plea from High Court in Delhi Excise Policy scam case

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Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia on Wednesday withdrew his application seeking interim bail from the Delhi High Court in cases registered against him for his alleged involvement in the Delhi Excise Policy scam case.

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma dismissed Sisodia’s petition as withdrawn, after Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur, representing the AAP leader, informed the High Court that the condition of Sisodia’s wife was stable, and that the petitioner did not want to present the interim bail application now.

The High Court further took note of the fact that the order on main bail application in the CBI case has been reserved.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.V. Raju said that he had earlier argued suppression as it was not mentioned in the application that the petitioner’s wife was discharged. 

As per the ASG, the applications were being withdrawn due to his contention regarding suppression. He added that this was not a simple withdrawal.

The High Court further recorded Raju’s statement that ‘certain’ submissions were made regarding the suppression of facts. It ruled that without going into any of such contention, the application was dismissed as withdrawn.

Senior Advocate Mathur argued on the regular bail plea of Sisodia in the case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He pointed out that as per the general rule, bail has to be granted.

He said it was wrong for any court to say that since the twin conditions were there, granting of bail was an exception. He made his point clear by arguing that bail should not be denied on the grounds of charges levelled against the petitioner under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

As per the Senior Counsel, conjectures and surmises of prosecution could not make a case.

The next hearing the case would be held on May 26. Mathur would continue his arguments on Friday. The Enforcement Directorate is likely to start arguments on May 29.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Rouse Avenue Court had extended the judicial custody of Sisodia till June 1, while directing the jail authorities to consider providing him with a chair and table for study purpose.

CBI had arrested Sisodia on February 26 after interrogating him for more than eight hours. The national agency had said that there were irregularities in the framing and implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. It alleged that Sisodia was arrested as he gave evasive replies and did not cooperate with the investigation despite being confronted with evidence.

The FIR filed by CBI stated that Sisodia and others were ‘instrumental’ in ‘recommending and taking decisions’ regarding the Excise policy 2021-22 ‘without’ approval of any competent authority, with an intention to ‘extend’ undue favours to the licensee post tender.

Later, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a case against Sisodia under the PMLA.

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